Cool As Ice

        It's easy to justify the not insignificant amount I spend on today's full-day guided glacier tour: I'm moving to Texas, so I'm getting any lingering desire to experience temperatures below warm out of my system.
        While I am chilly for parts of it, the glacier's great. Even with crampons (basically metal spikes that strap onto the soles of boots) on, it's still a bit slippery and nerve-exciting to walk on a mountain made of ice. Mountain is definitely an appropriate description: we hike up hills, squeeze through tiny cracks, and try not to look down crevasses, one of which is reputedly 60 m deep. I could hike on this surprisingly blue frozen chunk every day for years and still wouldn't get used to the crashing noises of the sides collapsing as the ice moves; recently, it's advanced as much as 1.5 m a day.
        On the ice all day, my mind's got plenty of room to wonder. I'm amused to find myself guessing at what the cash flows are like and considering financial consequences of injury–related helicopter flights off the ice. Maybe a sign that my mind's hungry and my business education's itching to be used? Or I'm just strange... most probably both:)
        Chugging Diet Coke and eating sugary candy to energize myself for another long twilight drive, I'm hungry. No time to eat a legit meal: I want to get as much driving in the few minutes of daylight I have (it's after 5:30 before I start) as I can. Besides, the promise of a good, hot meal, superior in taste to breakfast's peanut butter and jelly and lunch's granola bars combined, is good motivation to drive hard. Nonetheless, I'm still dreaming of a buffet. This thought's extremely appetizing, so I promise myself that I'll stop for dinner if I somehow find a buffet. Fat chance: I haven't seen one yet in this country.
        Miracle of culinary miracles: of the 4 restaurants "Let's Go" lists in Greymouth, a town less than an hour from me, one listing says "$3 buys you all the grilled sausages, salad, bread, and pasta salad you can eat." I'm sold. It ends up being $5 NZD, but I'm pretty sure I still consume more than the raw materials for the food cost. A waitress says it'd be a bad idea to try and drive Arthur's Pass, the most direct route to Christchurch, in tonight's rain. There are half a dozen New Zealand beers on tap. I can see glowworms in caves in this town tomorrow. There's a brewery tour. A decent cover band starts playing. Obviously, I'm sleeping in my car outside of this bar tonight.

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